DEFIANCE – Summer break ends for thousands of Ohio children this month, who will then head back to school. For many, the trip to and from school involves riding on a school bus. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has been in the process of inspecting every Ohio school bus to ensure each bus is safe to transport children to and from school, as well as to school-sanctioned events.
The Patrol has a few reminders for motorists now that buses are back on the roads more regularly. Motorists should remember to stop at least 10 feet back when approaching a school bus from either side while it displays flashing lights and an extended arm, and to not resume driving until the school bus begins moving. From 2013-2015, 4,043 drivers were convicted of failing to stop for a school bus that was loading or dropping off passengers.
“Although drivers of all vehicles are required to stop for a school bus when it is stopped to load or unload passengers, children should not rely on them to do so,” said Lt. Bob Ashenfelter, commander of the Defiance Post. “Children exiting the bus should always stop and look both ways before crossing the street and remain alert to any sudden traffic changes.”
The Patrol reminds motorists to plan ahead and allow extra time for these school bus stops. Motorists are also urged to exercise patience and never pass a stopped school bus.
For a complete statistical breakdown of school bus inspections, crashes and passing stopped school bus violations, visit http://www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/School_Bus_Bulletin_2016.pdf